2024 starts with yet more bad news on homelessness
Responding to the November homelessness figures issued by the Housing Department today, Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik TD has described the record-breaking figures as an indictment of government housing policy.
Deputy Bacik said,
“While many seek to use the New Year to turn over a new leaf, November’s homelessness figures underscore the reality that many thousands of people ended last year trapped in homelessness, locked out of accessing a safe and secure home.
“This month’s milestone statistics show that a record 13,514 people were in emergency accommodation in November 2023. Of that group, more than 4,000 were children. To have one person unable to find a home is unacceptable but these numbers are intolerable.
“We know that these figures offer just a glimpse into the true scale of the problem. There are a great many more people whose lives are made precarious by sky-high rents, inadequate legal protections for renters, and due to personal circumstances such as domestic violence. Indeed, 457 international protection applicants still have not received an offer of accommodation, according to the Department of Integration. Frontline organisations are warning us that this problem will only worsen in coming months.
“The government must turn the tide on this national scandal. It is simply not good enough to repeat the line that ‘we have turned a corner on housing’. Such language does a disservice to those for whom home ownership is a pipe dream, to those living pay-cheque to pay-cheque, and to those who have been driven to sleep in emergency accommodation or even on our streets.
“The Labour Party calls for its Renters’ Rights Bill to be passed, and for the Government to adopt our proposals to supply 100,000 homes per year by drastically ramping up building, tackling vacancy and dereliction, and curbing the State’s overreliance on the private sector.”